Groping, grabbing, harassing, crooked, lying, conning, corrupt, unhinged; they all are terms used by two Americans seeking to be elected President of the United States. These two want to be leaders of the free world, but they can’t possibly claim to lead by example. One is acting out. The other is reacting to the change in the electorate.
While I’m a Hillary fan and I’ve already voted for her, I predicted to a large group last year that Trump would be entertaining for a while and would shake things up. I was (sadly) right on both counts. Back then I thought he’d be culled off mid-primary by his more experienced and qualified opponents.
But the primary voters, on either side, are rabid fans of something other than civility and professionalism.
They want to hear savage commentary vilifying the status quo; “We want someone who speaks the truth!” “No compromises!” They liked to hear that the candidates were “low energy”, “Little Marco”, and “Fat Chris”. They liked hearing that a candidate was ugly and that a tough moderator was being mean because she was on her period.
All these scolds and taunts were cast by Donald Trump, a child in big-boy pants, at adults who wanted to punch the obnoxious speaker in the nose. He avoided that fate because his victims were restrained by the norms of adult society and their understanding of what it meant to appear presidential.
Trump didn’t care. It is more likely that he knew he could drag his opponents through the gutter to the glee of the dumbest, most gullible grunts in the country. He knew that civilized, polite people didn’t engage in the vulgarity he tossed around like seed on a lawn. He is a master at manipulation. But only if you don’t know how that manipulation works. Many people don’t. They get hypnotized and persuaded by people like the Donald.
Trump abused the kindness and the common courtesy of his opponents and tore them to shreds; and the unwitting angry-bots ate it up.
Bush, Rubio, Christie, and the rest were professionals. Politicians and business leaders accustomed to civil words, even when engaged in dispute. They had no idea how to handle this flailing toddler hurling Tourette-syndrome style epithets and insults.
But along came Hillary. A woman. A mother. Someone skilled at calming a baby throwing a tantrum, as well as with 25 years of defusing the misplaced anger of well coifed, middle-aged bullies in nice suits lobbing insults at her.
Her calm, powerful patience and preparedness has since lifted her head-and-shoulders above the fray and “Baby Donald.”
The election isn’t going to be rigged, but it will be a mother of a result.